Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Signs of a Dying City II

Deteriorating Education System, (to say the least):

This whole school year has been a joke so far, with students attending less than half of the normal school days (curfews, security situation, etc). But I think the greatest bomb of all was dropped this past week on college students who still held out hope of finishing the school year.
I saw my neighbor 'U', a senior at Baghdad University, outside our house today. Neither her nor her brother had attended university today. Apparently, a 'warning' has been given to college students not to attend university for the rest of the school year, as certain students would be targetted for their affiliation with 'death squads' and different militias. Following is a rough translation of the letter, which has been circulating by email and left at different locations. I also heard that large signs around town are announcing this 'news'.
The problem here is not whether or not this letter is authentic, but that it is able to hold power over students and professors alike. 'U' was telling me that she attended university the first couple of days of this week (with knowledge of the threat), but few other students or professors (!) attended. People are scared, and they are taking heed of this lawless group's ridiculous demands. Chaos at its best.

To our dear teachers and students at all Baghdad universities and colleges
Final Warning:
In order to protect your blood from the crimes committed by the Maliki government and its death squads... these death squads which have killed, murdered and targeted especially the Sunni students and professors... It is at these universities that the death squads have found a safe haven from which to carry out their attacks against ahlul Sunnah. From these universities scholars and warriors graduated, and at these same places they are being killed.
For this reason, we have decided ... to cancel the rest of the 2006-2007 school year for undergraduate and graduate students at all Baghdad universities and colleges (!!!)... to (1.) protect the blood of our scholars and students and (2.) to purify these institutions from all death squads. We will not be satisfied until we have brought security to them. Elementary, middle and high school students, as well as college students outside of Baghdad are not included in this decision (
For this reason, we ask our Sunni and Shiite (those who do not belong to any party) professors and students to avoid attending university completely for the rest of this school year for their protection. We give them three days to finish any business they have at their universities... We know that not attending institutions of knowledge is a painful ordeal, but the killing and murder of scholars is more painful. We also know that Sunni students and professors, as well as the Shiite 'commoners' will heed this warning... .
Today we will avenge our scholars. ... We will choose the time and place to attack you, in your homes, and on your beds and in your schools... You will continue to live in fear until your time comes... We hope that this school year does not end until we have destroyed each one of you (death squad/militia members).
We repeat our words to all Sunnis and to whoever desires to save himself; stay away from the death squads and militias, which have taken universities as their safe haven. Leave the battle to wage between us.
Ansar al Sunnah Group

Again, I don't know how authentic this letter is, I don't know if someone is playing a sad joke on Baghdad or not, I don't know if someone is trying to 'frame' this group or not, but I do know that this letter has had its effect on Baghdad university students. Even if they decide to ignore it and go to class, they find that no one else is attending, neither student nor teacher. Measures need to be taken to bring security to these institutions, or Baghdad will slowly die through the destruction of its coming generation of scholars.


your hubby's sister said...

truly, truly sad.. one by one, they are destroying the foundations, but now they're attacking the future of the country, as well..istaghfurAllah..
tell 'U' to stay safe, and i really hope she finishes university in the near future, inshaa Allah.

Joel said...

The dismal situation in Iraq is worsening every day. I wish I knew what to suggest. Among the awful things are the destruction of the intellectuals either by killing or flight. No contract can survive in today's world without people who can think, as distinguished from merely pray.
We Americans bear a heavy burdon of responsibility for having stupidly invaded Iraq. I am ashamed of my president and those who support him. But however stupid, wrong and ridiculous his decision to invade was, we need to deal with the situation as it is now. My instinct is simply to withdraw our troops at once. They are being killed at an alarming rate. I could tolerate, however sadly, the casualties, if I thought they were doing some good for the Iraqis, but if they are, it is certainly not apparent. Another part of me thinks that having destroyed so much, we must attempt to fix it. But fixing it seems to be beyond our capacity.
The recent US bipartisan study commission suggested staying to train Iraqi troops so that the country could defend itself against terrorism. But we have been trying that for some time without result. The terrible religious war now going on makes training Iraqi troops seemingly impossible.
I don't believe in God. No God, by whatever name called, could permit the holocaust, or the terrible things now happening in Iraq.
I open your blog every day to insure that you are still alive. I admire your courage, but I desperately want you and your family to come back to the states to safety
Goodnight dear fatima. If I believed in a God I would pray for you.

Aaron said...

I found your blog searching for a means to find air travel for my fiancee to get out of baghdad. After fighting for a year to finally get her visa, we have hit a complete roadblock trying to find air travel. I don't want to get into a lot of details publicly on your blog...however, if you could please email me @


I can't express how much we would appreciate it.



Fatima said...

Joel, I agree that it is a conundrum, keep the troops here or send them home at once. I think my heart says to send them away at once, because they are an occupying force, but the brain says that at the moment, the US administration needs to fix this situation. Alot of different parties here are starting to think the same way.

Aaron: email me at
But generally, there are flights out of Baghdad to Amman on a daily basis, on Iraqiya Airways, and on Royal Jordanian. Your fiancee can easily find an Iraqiya Airways office in different parts of Baghdad. From Amman, its easy to book a flight to any city in the world. Good luck.

Anonomouse said...

People laugh at Iraqis. Was there ever a race so cowardly, lazy, murderous and savage? They deserve what they get. Last time we help ungrateful savages at our expense.

Let us blame the victim.

seeking truth, dc said...

shut up anonymous, you're not funny.

Anonymous said...

Its burn back to the childish attempts of Bush to attack a country and turns it into a chaos zone.
Americans sit in their country and decide whether Iraq should be attacked or not then blame Iraqis for the miserable situation there!
There will be no end for this situation, no one has the key, different parties control the country and law was buried long time back there.
My heart is with those people who made victims by US and other countries for no reason rather than the cursed oil of Iraq.
Your Iraqi brother